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200 populated localities join reconciliation process in Syria — Russia’s Defense Ministry

July 21, 1:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ceasefire largely holds in most Syrian regions, with four violations registered in the Damascus region in the past 24 hours
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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. New reconciliation agreements have not been concluded with representatives of populated localities in Syria over the past 24 hours and so their number has remained unchanged - 200, the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said in a daily news bulletin.

"Talks on joining the regime of cessation of hostilities are underway with the field commanders of armed opposition units in the Aleppo, Homs and Hama provinces," says the bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website on Wednesday. "The number of armed groups that claimed their adherence to accepting and implementing conditions of the cessation of hostilities has remained unchanged - 61."

Regime of ceasefire

The ceasefire largely holds in most Syrian regions, with four violations registered in the Damascus region in the past 24 hours, the Russian center said.

The Jabhat al-Nusra groups, which claim they belong to the opposition, opened mortar fire on the residential localities of Arbil, Jaubar, Haush al-Fara and Duma.

"Russia’s Aerospace Force and Syria’s Air Force have not been delivering strikes on opposition armed units that had announced the cessation of hostilities and reported their location to the Russian or U.S. reconciliation centers," the bulletin said.

The Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State terrorist groups keep on hampering the establishment of the cessation of hostilities in Syria, the bulletin said. In the past 24 hours, terrorists have opened fire from mortars and self-made artillery guns on the suburbs of Sheikh Maqsood, al-Khalidiya, az-Zahra and Al-Nayrab airport in the Aleppo region.

The residential localities of Baharia, Duma, Jaubar and Kabun came under shelling in the Damascus region, Tair-Maala - in the Homs region and al-Bas in the Quneitra region.

Humanitarian aid

In the Latakia region, the children of killed Syrian servicemen received school kits as presents, the Russian center said. Widows and parents of killed officers and soldiers along with Russian compatriots in Syria were supplied with a total of 1.5 tons of foodstuffs, mainly flour, cereals, sugar and canned fish and meat.

An aircraft of the Russian air carrier Abakan Air airdropped the 20-ton UN humanitarian cargo - cereals, salt and sugar - to the city of Deir ez-Zor besieged by Islamic State militants.

The ceasefire has been effective in Syria since February 27, 2016. It does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), and also to other groups declared as terrorist by the UN Security Council. Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Since 2014, the US-led coalition has also been delivering air strikes against militants in Syria and Iraq.

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